Players groomed for success!

Winning netball coaches reveal formula

BY DANIA BOGLE Observer staff reporter

Friday, December 07, 2012

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THE coaches of the 2012 ISSA All-Island Senior and Junior League netball champions, Holmwood Technical and The Queen's School, have unveiled their strategies for success.

For the Christiana-based Holmwood, who won their seventh title on Wednesday, a netball culture prevails, while at the Queen's, which claimed their third title on the same day, it is about not becoming complacent.

Holmwood coach Carline Graham-Powell said her girls are recruited with future scholarships in netball being a key motivating factor.

"It's a lot of hard work. The girls are groomed. We do a lot of recruiting. We make sure whoever plays the game we actually recruit them. We take care of them and we make sure at the end they are in college and we work along with the parents," she told the Jamaica Observer.

Graham-Powell said that in the last two years at least eight girls have earned scholarships to either The Mico University, GC Foster College, or elsewhere.

"It's a whole programme. It's not just a winning thing. We make sure the girls are well taken care of. We take them on trips (sometimes) abroad... so they can't do anything but win."

Graham-Powell, who is also head of the school's Physical Education department, explained that the team does what it takes.

"I make sure that we put the work in. I am not going to be coaching something that is just entering to enter; we have to win, that's just me."

The long-time coach noted, however, that she is not promoting a professional atmosphere at the school, but rather, one in which girls understand they have the opportunity to better themselves.

"What we tell them is, that 'your parents don't have money to put you through college, so you need to work hard in order to gain a scholarship and in order to gain a scholarship you have to be the best.' So we take it from that approach and 'if you are getting a scholarship you are doing something for your parents, you don't have to win but if you are the best, people will still look at you'."

The team will now begin preparations for the Clarendon netball league in March and will continue weekend camps in the build-up.

Queen's coach Marvette Anderson told the Observer she is also looking ahead to begin preparations to defend their title in the ISSA Under-14 competition in May.

The team will take a short break for Christmas and resume training in January.

Anderson, who also conditions the National Under-16 netball squad, said maintaining respect for the opponents is key to averting complacency when it comes to winning three titles on the bounce.

"We always have respect for our opponents. We don't have time to be complacent, so we approach each game as if it's our last. Each person when they step on the court knows it's all about doing their best," she said.

Anderson, who identified her six-foot-four-inch goal-shooter Simone Gordon as one for the future in the national programme, said mental preparation is also important if one wants to keep winning.

"It's about getting them to understand that it is important that they focus on each game; don't try to play the game before you get to that game. Maintain composure, encouraging and motivating.

"It's about planning for the ladies. I have them as a group in the Under-14, so it was all about maintaining the persons that are there and improving on their skill."

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